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tv   [untitled]    February 7, 2013 2:00pm-2:30pm PST

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>>: welcome back to san francisco's london commission regular hearing, fe b 7 2013. item 11, 2012.0765c. >>: the project is to allow expansion of the existing limited restaurant on the ground floor at 1441 stockton street.
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to the previously approved conditional use authorization in march, 2007, it operates as a retail bookstore with a limited restaurant component known as a. cavalli & co. it acquires a conditional use to expand. the department has received one additional comment with concerns alleging the business' continued violation. the department has not found the business to be in violation of the conditions of approval based on site visits
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conducted by the enforcement staff in response to each complaint. elimination of the bookstore and expansion of the restaurant will not result in the loss. the project will not affect the concentration of eating or drinking establishments. the business will not serve alcohol for on-site consumption and the project will enable locally owned and operated businesses to continue serving the north beach community. based on these findings, the department recommends you approve the project with conditions. that concludes my presentation and i am available for questions. thank you. >> president fong: project sponsor? >>: good afternoon commissioner fong, commissioners. i'm here to represent santo esposito.
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i have 16 additional letters of support that i would like to submit. >>: what is your name? >>: darcy brown. we are open for questions. i think the presentation said everything. mr. esposito is from italy, came to this country; work as a waiter in restaurants, saved his money and bought this business and would like to offer sandwiches and expand experience for his patrons. >> president fong: thank you. we may have questions for you later. >>: i'm opening up for public comment. two speaker cards. vincenzo // >>: i am a longtime resident of
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north beach, for about eight years. i was amazed one morning walking to the bus stop to see this new place is open up. i was born and grew up in italy. since then i go to -- i know how hard it is to survive on a couple of tables and a limited menu. i'm here to speak for him. i would like for him to get this permit approved to expand his business are able to offer more choices. i'm sure his customers will appreciate it.
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so we don't see another north beach business closing up. >>: name is miles o'reilly, in business for 20 years in north beach. it is important to realize that there are many passionate restauranteurs; santos, whom i have known for the last 20 years, watching him first as a waiter, which i was myself, watching him with his family. i have known santos to be in extremely passionate man. trying to survive unlimited
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menu. he has already had great reviews about some of the canolis and desserts that he has brought to the table; he is well-liked around the neighborhood. i'm here to support him. we don't want any business in northeast of close. he's a wonderful person. it's really wonderful. we will likely support and grant his permit and reviving the tradition of -- santos, the old black-and-white photograph, the historical significance of -- brought to north beach. >> president fong: any additional public comment on this item? seeing none the public comment
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portion is close. >> commissioner borden: the reviews are very positive. we understand they are changing dynamics in the market. we would like to see a bookstore to remain as barnes & noble and borders have found in the era of kindles and ipads, bookstores are not as viable. i think one day they will be retro, not today. it sounds like from the letters that he runs his business with his family well and i moved to approve with conditions. >>: the support of all the restaurant owners and business
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owners in the area as well as an overwhelming number of residents who have signed the petition makes a lot of sense. it makes it viable and allows them to continue. i am supportive. >> commissioner sugaya: the staff that this is already an eating establishment and does not increase the number of eating establishments. but it is not an eating establishment. we approved an accessory use to a bookstore with limited seating. how the staff can find that this place is not in violation is beyond me. all you have to do is look at the repairs packet and the photos. there is not one book in the entire store at least in this photo. there are on the first floor five tables when the conditional use says two. it's limited to 15 seats;
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there are more seats than 15. how the staff does not consider this is in violation is beyond me. i cannot see how we can consider this without them first issued an nov and go through the process. also the north beach neighborhood commercial district, section 7221 of the code specifically says, special controls are necessary because in over concentration a food service establishments limits retail sales and personal services in an area that needs them to thrive the neighborhood. needs to maintain neighborhood retail sales and personal services to maintain residential livability. additional eating and drinking establishments are prohibited in spaces
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occupied by neighborhood services involved in retail sales. i take that to mean that an accessory use is not the primary use of that space in this establishment has been in violation of that for years. is the same case faced in the poor house, retail sales with wine tasting. when they opened or shortly after they open it became the bar. thinking back and said you have to modify the conditions of approval and let us operate as we have been in violation for years. i can't support this particular thing. i think there are also other issues where there are potential conflicts between what supervisor wiener's ncd legislation put forth
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in what is currently in the north beach neighborhood commercial district. one piece of language from the ncd for north beach special use district says that restaurants and limited restaurants are defined in sections etc., etc., and they be permitted as conditional use on the first story is in addition to criteria the commission finds that the limited restaurant does not occupy the space that is currently her last occupied by basic neighborhood sales or service. the basic need here was a bookstore. >> commissioner moore: in 2007, this project came in front of us early in my time in the commission and at that time
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there was a lot of opposition. ms. -- was representing the current owner; i am very interested in supporting a small business but also seeing the possible configuration or shift from one specialization into slightly associated other i ultimately supported the vcu in front of a the time. the specifics of that cu really spoke that it would be allowed to serve espresso, before that they were not allowed, espresso and associated, croissants, whatever, and continue as a place where people could come by read italian periodicals, not necessarily be as much in the bookstore but have the ability to have an espresso sit down and read.
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i was happy because i supported it only to go there five months later % at the time i was taking italian classes in north beach % and realize the bum of the things i thought were supposed to be there, were there. it had not realized any of the things which we had approved although there was big pressure on the economics of success. from then on it took more the appearance of the failure which we see -- to market. i'm currently very concerned that extending another cu and hoping for success is indeed what i wanted to. >> president fong: commissioner antonini. >> commissioner antonini: if you read the findings from the staff report,
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it mentions and i was here in 2007 conditions of approval stated that if the bookstore were no longer able to operate initial use authorization would be required for a small self-service restaurant which is where we are today. restaurant legislation ordinance 004712, which actually took things commonly called accessory use and turn them into limited use restaurants. more in compliance through the legislation, that is an issue for the staff to decide. that is where i see the transition occurring. i am in favor of it. >>: commissioner wu.
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>> commissioner wu: could you address the question of the number of tables in violation? >>: since 2007 there have been three complaints filed, over the course of several years, not back to back. in each of the investigations the complaint was not valid. that is what we have to rely on, the enforcement staff responding to complaints and informing us whether or not this business is in violation or not. there was a limit -- to the number of tables. the one thing that i know makes this more challenging is that retail coffee shops,
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part of the definition of retail restaurant was a constraint on square footage and a constraint on the number of tables and chairs. that whole definition became a limited restaurant definition. what was in the condition of approval was reitarting what the code parameters were for restaurants at the time and even more so restricting the square footage to 350 square feet. does not have a constraint on the number of tables and chairs. >> commissioner wu: for me to concern is wanting to support the business that can have some connection to history, culture, whether italian periodicals or north beach history itself, i don't think though that preserving the use of the bookstore is as viable for this location. i see the issue of over concentration. it is kind of a technicality.
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this is not adding to the number of restaurants because it was already counted, but i can't see a reason to deny today. i don't think the bookstore can survive on its own. >>: commissioner sugaya. >> commissioner sugaya: there is no bookstore to survive. >>: are you saying that the seating limit, 3 tables in the mezzanine is no longer applicable? >>: i will refer to the zoning administrator. the table limits establish some of the old code were often included as conditions of approval. when the definition went away by default you inherit the condition that applies to limited restaurants. i will let mr. -- chime in.
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>>: so the commission- approved set of conditions has been superseded by the zoning changes adopted by the planning commission? >>: in cases where the conditions of approval are more restrictive than the underlying zoning, yes. size limitation remains in effect. this is why they are here today. to allow greater use of the space. in terms of the north beach specialty district i was involved in both pieces of legislation in 2008, north beach sud and the restaurant legislation. i find the proposal does not conflict with that. i find the restaurant legislation from last year does not conflict with the 2008 sud. we are greatly inspired by the
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2008 special use district. the category limited restaurant is a basic neighborhood service. does not allow on premise beer and wine. they cannot add any beer and wine to this location. >>: however before the change in the legislation, i won't go there. >>: there were complaints. we did at times find them in violation; those violations were corrected. there were three complaints, one in 2007, one in 2008, one in 2010. all have been debated. we have no more recent complaints.
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>> president fong: commissionermoore. >> commissioner moore: the motion of march 2007 is extremely specific on each level? also very specific about how and where beverages and prepackaged food can be consumed with a specific note that no on-site food preparation would occur other than connected to beverage preparation. which means you can only have an espresso machine or whatever. i don't care either way but this is not what's happened all the time that this particular establishment has been there. the subtle shift from one to the other is not on the
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average fingertips user. except when things happen on a bigger scale that is where we become aware. (indiscernible) >>: i believe that they have been in violation at times in the past, serving soup when they were not allowed to serve soup. they did correct the violation. >> president fong: mission commissioner antonini. >>: no alcohol served; it will promote daytime usage. i'm not saying they're not allowed to open the night but if there is a timely north beach needs more activity it is during the day in it helps to keep the italian culture going at that part of stockton street;
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the used to be a city press years ago. preserving this even in a modified form is important. i am in support. >>: there is a motion and the second for approval with conditions. >> commissioner antonini: aye >> commissioner borden: aye >> commissioner moore: no >> commissioner sugaya: no >> commissioner hillis: aye >> commissioner wu: aye. >>: it passes on a vote of 5-2 with commissioners moore and sugaya dissenting. item 12. >>: good afternoon.
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-- -- the project was to convert 4000 sq. feet of commercial space. and also reskinned the building. the commissioner approved the project in -- 2012. the charter amendment allowed the reduction of the on-site affordable housing from 15 percent to 12 percent. the projects already entitled but not yet with the first construction permit. the charter amendment also stipulates that the project sponsor must obtain financing within one year of any on-site production approval. in accordance with the charter amendment the project sponsor has submitted
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a request to amend the conditions of approval to reduce the on-site affordable housing requirement from 15 percent to 12 percent. the 100 van ness avenue has not received its construction permit. (indiscernible) department staff believes that the project sponsor would be able to obtain financing and start construction within one year with 12 percent on-site approval rate in compliance with the charter. the mayors office also submitted a letter that states that it appears to demonstrate compliance with the charter amendment. the department staff also works with the project sponsor with the design of the building, requiring (indiscernible)
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to reflect the new residential nature of the building. (indiscernible) the revised design has been included in your materials. to highlight some of the design changes: and number of juliet balconies have been added to express the more residential nature. in addition the mixture of metal panels have been added to add texture. (indiscernible) staff has not yet reviewed glass samples to verify reflectivity. it is likely to resemble the public utilities commission building located at 525 golden gate avenue. this concludes staff presentation. i will be available for questions. dan -- from the mayors office is also here to address questions.